Using drugs offensively


Rules Questions


It seems that a lot of the drugs listed in the game mastery guide would make better poisons than the poisons in the core book. The drugs deal damage without a save, the save is only for resisting addiction. Additionally, they don't have any listed onset speed, they are all immediate. While most of the drugs are ingested or inhaled, opium, shiver, and zerk are injury. Is it possible to make drugs into poisons to coat weapons with? Rogues could even use that trick to make inhaled/ingested into injury poisons.

So, RAW: Can I purposely try to drug my enemies in a combat? What rules cover it?

It seems very overpowered to be able to coat some arrows/shurikens with opium and cause 1d4 con and 1d4 wis damage per hit unresisted.


The simple answer is no. There are no rules for applying a drug (instead of a poison) to a weapon.

Realistically, most injury drugs would typically be a lot more volume than an injury type poison. You don't dip a needle in heroin and prick yourself with it, you actually inject a significant volume into your veins.

I would never allow drugs to be forced on any creature that wasn't helpless/fooled/something similar. Basically it isn't a combat tactic.

One could imagine more concentrated distillates of drugs using the same mechanics as poisons, indeed it is possible that some of the listed poisons use drugs as part of their ingredients.


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So beguiling gift and drugs is the best route?


Tarantula wrote:
So beguiling gift and drugs is the best route?

That seems reasonable, I was going to suggest mind affecting spells. "Take the pesht pipe, you'll love it, it's a way of life..."

Scarab Sages

Convincing your GM that it will work might be a challenge, but this item may be an option:
Poisoner's gloves


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prong999 wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
So beguiling gift and drugs is the best route?
That seems reasonable, I was going to suggest mind affecting spells. "Take the pesht pipe, you'll love it, it's a way of life..."

"All the cool enemies are doing it..."


Adventurers Armory pg. 5 "Syringe Spear: The blade of this weapon contains a thin tube or bore that connects to a hollow container just beneath the crosspiece. A successful hit with the spear injects the liquid contents of the container (typically poison) into the target. Refilling a syringe spear takes 1 minute."


Scour doesn't say what it is. Is it a liquid? Is it a solid? How can it have both ingested and inhaled as its vectors? Honestly, the drugs have no description at all, so the GM is free to say they aren't liquids. Maybe dwarven fire ale and absinthe are liquids, but their vector is ingestion not injury. So the spear wouldn't work for them anyway.


Tarantula wrote:
Scour doesn't say what it is. Is it a liquid? Is it a solid? How can it have both ingested and inhaled as its vectors? Honestly, the drugs have no description at all, so the GM is free to say they aren't liquids. Maybe dwarven fire ale and absinthe are liquids, but their vector is ingestion not injury. So the spear wouldn't work for them anyway.

If Opium is not Opium then what is Alcohol?


Spells like Touch Injection would work. A good bluff check of pulling out a drug, purposefully failing your roll to 'throw a potion' to an ally, and shouting "Crap! There goes that healing potion!" and watch the orc pick it up and chug it.

There's also the whole Sahir-Afiyun and their Pesh-oriented spell list from Katapesh in the Dark Markets book

Poisoned Sand Tubes should also work, logically, though by 'RAW' you'll get a lot of people smacking that down.


Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Scour doesn't say what it is. Is it a liquid? Is it a solid? How can it have both ingested and inhaled as its vectors? Honestly, the drugs have no description at all, so the GM is free to say they aren't liquids. Maybe dwarven fire ale and absinthe are liquids, but their vector is ingestion not injury. So the spear wouldn't work for them anyway.
If Opium is not Opium then what is Alcohol?

My point was that the only specifically liquid drugs (alcohols) are not injury/contact triggered. They are ingested. Logically, the syringe spear is only good for contact/injury poisons.

Artemis Moonstar wrote:
Spells like Touch Injection would work.

Touch Injection: "You must hold an elixir, infused extract, poison, or potion in hand as you cast this spell." It doesn't say drug, so it doesn't work.

Poisoned sand tubes also won't work RAW, but they might be argued since they can deliver inhaled poisons to also deliver inhaled drugs.


Tarantula wrote:
Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Scour doesn't say what it is. Is it a liquid? Is it a solid? How can it have both ingested and inhaled as its vectors? Honestly, the drugs have no description at all, so the GM is free to say they aren't liquids. Maybe dwarven fire ale and absinthe are liquids, but their vector is ingestion not injury. So the spear wouldn't work for them anyway.
If Opium is not Opium then what is Alcohol?

My point was that the only specifically liquid drugs (alcohols) are not injury/contact triggered. They are ingested. Logically, the syringe spear is only good for contact/injury poisons.

Artemis Moonstar wrote:
Spells like Touch Injection would work.

Touch Injection: "You must hold an elixir, infused extract, poison, or potion in hand as you cast this spell." It doesn't say drug, so it doesn't work.

Poisoned sand tubes also won't work RAW, but they might be argued since they can deliver inhaled poisons to also deliver inhaled drugs.

Adventurers Armory pg. 5 "Syringe Spear: The blade of this weapon contains a thin tube or bore that connects to a hollow container just beneath the crosspiece. A successful hit with the spear injects the liquid contents of the container (typically poison) into the target. Refilling a syringe spear takes 1 minute."

Your argument doesn't hold water.


Well I'm backing out before the inevitable RAW vs RAI argument kicks in. Add another dot for morbid curiosity.


Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:

Adventurers Armory pg. 5 "Syringe Spear: The blade of this weapon contains a thin tube or bore that connects to a hollow container just beneath the crosspiece. A successful hit with the spear injects the liquid contents of the container (typically poison) into the target. Refilling a syringe spear takes 1 minute."

Your argument doesn't hold water.

That dwarven fire ale isn't a contact/injury vector, and so even if you inject it into the target, it doesn't take effect because its vector wasn't used?

Or that the syringe spear says "typically poison" and therefore you are saying any liquids are allowed?

Scarab Sages

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Warning, I do not support the use of this information in actual games, it is broken to hell.

Alchemist - Grenadier - Alchemical Weapon wrote:
At 2nd level, a grenadier can infuse a weapon or piece of ammunition with a single harmful alchemical liquid or powder, such as alchemist's fire or sneezing powder, as a move action....The alchemical item takes full effect on the next creature struck by the weapon...
Drugs wrote:
Drugs are alchemical items that grant effects to those who make use of them.

Get yourself a level in gunslinger, make those ranged touch attacks and knock out literally anything in 1 hit with Dreamtime Tea.

RAW drugs are untyped, not even poison or disease. RAI they are probably poison. Want to take out Cthulhu? Be a Alchemist Grenadier 2 with a rifle, chug a potion of true strike and watch her fall. If that is still too close for you just get yourself a siege engine, still fires ammunition.


Or fortifying brew. 2 doses makes them nauseated for 1 hour.


Tarantula wrote:

That dwarven fire ale isn't a contact/injury vector, and so even if you inject it into the target, it doesn't take effect because its vector wasn't used?

Or that the syringe spear says "typically poison" and therefore you are saying any liquids are allowed?

The wording speaks for itself.


Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
Tarantula wrote:

That dwarven fire ale isn't a contact/injury vector, and so even if you inject it into the target, it doesn't take effect because its vector wasn't used?

Or that the syringe spear says "typically poison" and therefore you are saying any liquids are allowed?

The wording speaks for itself.

Ok, so you put dwarven fire ale into the spear because ale is most definitely a liquid. What does injecting dwarven fire ale into a creature do?


Tarantula wrote:
Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
Tarantula wrote:

That dwarven fire ale isn't a contact/injury vector, and so even if you inject it into the target, it doesn't take effect because its vector wasn't used?

Or that the syringe spear says "typically poison" and therefore you are saying any liquids are allowed?

The wording speaks for itself.
Ok, so you put dwarven fire ale into the spear because ale is most definitely a liquid. What does injecting dwarven fire ale into a creature do?

Nothing.


Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
Tarantula wrote:

That dwarven fire ale isn't a contact/injury vector, and so even if you inject it into the target, it doesn't take effect because its vector wasn't used?

Or that the syringe spear says "typically poison" and therefore you are saying any liquids are allowed?

The wording speaks for itself.
Ok, so you put dwarven fire ale into the spear because ale is most definitely a liquid. What does injecting dwarven fire ale into a creature do?
Nothing.

So why did you link the spear?


You made as if to say that one would not be able to use an injury drug with the spear.


Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
You made as if to say that one would not be able to use an injury drug with the spear.

I said that the only drugs which make sense with the spear ARE contact or injury ones.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I stab a big needle filled with alcohol, in to you, then you will get drunk, at the very least.

Maybe dead.

Sovereign Court

This thread is entirely different from what I anticipated from the title. I thought that someone was going to go off about how one of their players wanted to make a character based on Breaking Bad and that it'd be disruptive to their game. :P


There's also the Dart Gun from the technology guide which alows you to inject foes with a "single dose of a pharmaceutical, drug, poison, or even potion". Probably unlikely to fly in most campaigns due to technology, but creating a magical substitute using tis as a guideline seems reasonable in a home game with GM permission.

Silver Crusade

On the question of if the drugs can be used offensively, you need to watch Batman Begins, or play Arkham Asylum or Far Cry 3 or 4.

Throw hallucinogens at enemy, attack him while he freaks out, is a common fantasy battle tactic.

Now, I'm of a general belief that poison DCs tend to be so low as to be inconsequential (I can't remember the last time someone above level 7 failed a poison save, including the wizards), but the idea that the drugs have no DC and therefore are super-poisons is bogus.

Reasonably, the reason these have no DCs is because the assumption is the person taking it is effectively choosing to auto-fail that save and so the developers didn't bother including the save (just like they don't normally attach DCs to cure potions).


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Spook205 wrote:

Now, I'm of a general belief that poison DCs tend to be so low as to be inconsequential (I can't remember the last time someone above level 7 failed a poison save, including the wizards), but the idea that the drugs have no DC and therefore are super-poisons is bogus.

Reasonably, the reason these have no DCs is because the assumption is the person taking it is effectively choosing to auto-fail that save and so the developers didn't bother including the save (just like they don't normally attach DCs to cure potions).

I'd say "drugs" are what "poisons" should have been if poisons were meant to not be a joke option. Really that's all they are good for considering how extreme the negatives. Yeah, drugs aren't good for you, but look at some of them. Scour for instance. 1d6 con damage. Really? The average 10 con human junkie wouldn't last long on that.

Also about the use of drugs as poisons via standard poison delivery method of stabbing someone in the face, both Opium and Zerk can explicitly be administered via "injury." Take that as you will.

Silver Crusade

chaoseffect wrote:
Spook205 wrote:

Now, I'm of a general belief that poison DCs tend to be so low as to be inconsequential (I can't remember the last time someone above level 7 failed a poison save, including the wizards), but the idea that the drugs have no DC and therefore are super-poisons is bogus.

Reasonably, the reason these have no DCs is because the assumption is the person taking it is effectively choosing to auto-fail that save and so the developers didn't bother including the save (just like they don't normally attach DCs to cure potions).

I'd say "drugs" are what "poisons" should have been if poisons were meant to not be a joke option. Really that's all they are good for considering how extreme the negatives. Yeah, drugs aren't good for you, but look at some of them. Scour for instance. 1d6 con damage. Really? The average 10 con human junkie wouldn't last long on that.

Also about the use of drugs as poisons via standard poison delivery method of stabbing someone in the face, both Opium and Zerk can explicitly be administered via "injury." Take that as you will.

Or inhaled or ingested. I have this image now of a vampire defending himself by living in an opium den and continually burning the stuff 24-7. Or burning aether to deal with wizards.

In those circumstances though I'd say a save is definitely in order.

Damn, I really am starting to like the idea of this mechanic. Jiang-Shi drug dealers, their final redoubt forged from barriers designed to show the weakness of mortal life (flayleaf, alcohol, etc) :/


Relevant thread necro: There is now a way to use drugs offensively, Evangelists of Mahathallah can use the final boon to use drugs on a weapon.

Quote:
3: Indirect Dose (Su) You can apply drugs of the injury type to a weapon as if they were poison. Additionally, you can’t accidentally expose yourself to a poison or a drug when applying it to a weapon—though you are still exposed if you roll a 1 when attacking with a poisoned weapon.

Opium is the best ability damage, but Shiver has a 50% to put them to sleep, so.

All of the three are dirt cheap.


I have a drug lord who uses a Dream Spider to create shiver with the web. Then hat he doesn't use for drugs he burns in a cloud of smoke to create a toxic gas. No save can completely negate the damage.


Tonlim wrote:

There's also the Dart Gun from the technology guide which alows you to inject foes with a "single dose of a pharmaceutical, drug, poison, or even potion". Probably unlikely to fly in most campaigns due to technology, but creating a magical substitute using tis as a guideline seems reasonable in a home game with GM permission.

If Psionics is allowed Call Weaponry power brings any weapon, no matter the cost, but only 3d6 ammo comes with it.

Scarab Sages

chaoseffect wrote:

I'd say "drugs" are what "poisons" should have been if poisons were meant to not be a joke option. Really that's all they are good for considering how extreme the negatives. Yeah, drugs aren't good for you, but look at some of them. Scour for instance. 1d6 con damage. Really? The average 10 con human junkie wouldn't last long on that.

Also about the use of drugs as poisons via standard poison delivery method of stabbing someone in the face, both Opium and Zerk can explicitly be administered via "injury." Take that as you will.

Well, in real life, poisons are drugs (just drugs with negative intended results).

As for poisons being lacking, I haven't found them lacking, but you do have to build a character around them. Party Synergy is also big one for heavy poison use characters.

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